Paul Sinha: Hazy Little Thing Called Love | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Paul Sinha: Hazy Little Thing Called Love

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

This is Paul Sinha’s ‘screw you Parkinson’s’ show – a defiant pledge to continue to follow his loves of comedy and quizzing whatever the disease throws at him.

In fact, his diagnosis appears to have made him bolder than before. The comic has always mined recent incidents in his life for material, but now, with no fear of the consequences, he has a new honesty – and lack of concern for who he might upset. Insufferable diva Gemma Collins, that means you. 

His go-for-it attitude means he now plays a keyboard on stage, too. He’s no Tim Minchin, but gets by, while occasionally slipping into rhyming couplets, too, because… why not?

In his first stand-up show since his 2019 diagnosis, Sinha wittily outlines the incidents that built up to him, a former GP, seeking medical help, from incontinence to the physical problems he encountered on what should have been the tour of his life in New Zealand. Professional embarrassments are confessed, too, from an ill-advised pantomime appearance to his muddled performance on Taskmaster, for which he subsequently got a neurological explanation. But that doesn’t stop him from being gently self-deprecating.

Confronting Parkinson’s has also led the 51-year-old to count his blessings. In stand-up and as one of ITV’s Chasers he’s doing the jobs he adores; he’s in a loving marriage to Oliver, another pro quizzer; and he’s got a great family, including parents who proved to be great comic foils, despite their own health problems.

It would be tempting to oversell this as some significant life lesson we should all learn, but Sinha doesn’t proselytise. He’s a less showy performer than that, and while he’s never been an emotionally raw comic, he talks with honesty and allows the stories to speak for themselves. Take from them what you will.

The stories are told with a constant light-touch wit, with some ‘proper’ jokes thrown in. Of course, he wears his nerdiness on his sleeve – what else do you expect from a quiz champ? – but there’s humanity behind the fact-machine, too.

Parkinson’s hasn’t robbed him of his ability to do stand-up, it’s enhanced it.

Paul Sinha: Hazy Little Thing Called Love is on tour this autumn

Review date: 22 Aug 2021
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Stand 1

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